I woke up this morning and just like every other morning, I started the coffee. Opened my email. Sitting in second position under “new mail” was an email from a literary magazine I had submitted a short story to in June. Usually, I go through all kinds of ridiculous avoidance manoeuvres when these emails come; they are usually rejections. Maybe I was just too sleepy, too under-caffeinated to think of some clever avoidance move so I opened the sucker up with no nail-biting, no yoga posing, and no theatrical deep-breathing.
And read: “Dear Wee Banshee, thank you for not going through all kinds of avoidance manoeuvres that might throw your back out or give you an unnecessary stitch in your side. We would be pleased to accept your story for publication but we would also be pleased if you would make sure you have clothes on before you do your happy dance in the street…”
Or, something to that effect.
Checking my attire to ensure that my children would be able to attend school this Fall without having to wear disguises, I did indeed run outside and do what can only be described as a primitive, free-form happy dance. That was about an hour and a half ago and so far, no police or family service personnel have come a-calling. I continued said happy dance back inside and up the stairs (no small feat for someone who is woefully out of shape and who has a bad back) and into my children’s rooms.
As I said, that was about an hour and a half ago. My son just came downstairs and asked me if I knew anything about some weird crazy person dancing and shouting upstairs earlier. I looked up and said, “It was your mother.” He started to look a bit panicked so I reassured him with the good news.
Now that I’ve calmed down just a tad, I can sit here and say, without hesitation, the Universe provides. I don’t mean money (but if the Universe would also like to make my recently purchased Lotto ticket a winner, that would be fine and yes I will dance in the street naked and not give a rat’s ass who sees me). I mean…the Universe provides what it needs to when it needs to.
Let me ‘splain: just 24 hours ago, I lay in bed with one or two tears coursing down my cheeks. I stared at the ceiling and pondered my future as a writer as in did I have one? It has seemed, at times, a fruitless endeavour. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing beyond all reason and do it happily, day in and day out. Writing, as I’ve only recently realized after 49 years of living, is as necessary a part of me as breathing is.
As much as I adore scattering words down on a page, I need that elusive external reassurance that I’m doing it well; I need what can only be called validation. Validation, for a writer, is publication. Believe me, I do not harbour illusions that I’m the next J.K. Rowling or Margaret Atwood. The letter I received this morning mentioned nothing about monetary compensation. It offered up seven magic words: “pleased to accept your story for publication.”
There it was: the glimmering, faint streaks of light in a previously ink black sky. In the pale golden dawn, a wee banshee danced.